I’ve been smiling lately, thinking about the good friends I have and what we’re able to share. These warm connections are lighthouses, steering me around the political shoals of my Facebook feed. The politics of division both frustrates me and begs my empathy, an empathy I carry close to the surface. I seek healing.
Maybe it’s a tug of war between the heart and mind. The mind “knows” that we all have different perspectives, but what is it that leads us to believe that our perspective is right for everyone? Why are we so strongly compelled to defend our perspective? Why do we argue our position? Do we feel we won’t be heard? If it’s not our mind telling us to establish the correct facts, is that our heart’s voice?
And that’s only the beginning of the confusion: Trump is my Spiritual Teacher.
Some teachers lead by example. Some teachers explain in clear language. And some teachers just provide
hurdles opportunities for learning.
I didn’t know how much I needed to learn.
I’ve coached youth soccer and competed in various sports. Whereas all our efforts were focused on winning, it wasn’t only winning. How we won or lost mattered more than whether we won or lost.
Some points here:
- Important to separate the what from the why. What are the shared values?
- If we are pitted against each other, aren’t we giving up our power?
- We want to be part of something bigger than ourselves — we want to belong. How much of ourselves do we sacrifice to get along with the group?
- Warm relationships versus “who are these people”?
- Facts vs. stories (connecting emotion with meaning)
Here’s some tough ones that I’m psyching myself up to tackle:
- Promise not to question other’s motivation:
Each person genuinely wants to do good.
- Promise not to break or even injure belief systems:
These remain intact and are defended to the death (because it is the self that is defended).
- Promise not to demand agreement on what are considered facts:
Although minds in certain desirable states tends to find it easier to agree, it is really the agreement that makes something a fact, not whether someone says it’s so.
- Promise to find the good:
It’s always there. There is no such thing as pure evil. It isn’t always easy, but there will be some way to connect. Celebrate that connection.
Stories of how much we talk about politics and although it matters, does it really matter if it pits us against each other? To whom are we giving that power?
Like everything worthwhile, my chosen task is full of challenge: seek first to understand before attempting to be understood. Maybe I won’t understand all the reasons Trump now holds the highest office in the land, but to find a common ground where we can move forward as a country would require listening and understanding all sides. To remain open requires deepening of the spirit.
The Ark of peace is entered two by two.